Chief Security Officer Ab Rahim Bin Ismail on Courage

How long have you been in this line of work?
I’ve been working in this current assignment for five years now, but overall I’ve been doing this for 32 years. If I am not wrong, my first assignment was at a condominium in West Coast in 1979 which has been en bloc. That was a long time ago but I still thoroughly enjoy my job.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I like to interact with people because it is through interaction that I get to know them and their concerns about the premises. It makes me feel useful and needed as I will do my best to help them. It is different when you are working at a residential area compared to the industrial ones.
What’s the difference?
The type of security needed in a residential area requires an officer to be familiar with the residents. We need to build rapport with the residents so that, in return, they will trust us. Families like to be assured that their homes are taken care of. In an industrial area, we rarely interact with the workers in the building because they come and leave from work and we briefly interact with the delivery people. However, an industrial area requires a different kind of security with all its hazardous machinery and equipments. So knowledge of fire and even bomb safety is a must.
How can I become a security officer?
There are many security companies in Singapore. Approach one and they will send you for a course which will teach you about fire, bombs and other safety precautions. You need a good sense of alertness and be ready to react when needed. That’s why you don’t see me with a radio or anything like that because I need to react fast if anything happens. Good public relation skills are important to build the trust with the people around you, including your colleagues. This makes the job much easier. But for me the most important thing to become a security officer is courage.
Why courage?
When you least expect it, you will come face to face with real danger and you will need courage to react fast. There was this incident during my duty at a warehouse in Senoko industrial estate back in 1992. A car sped into the premises and was targeting a delivery truck carrying valuables. I saw the whole thing and ran towards the vehicle in the hope of foiling their attempt. Unfortunately they were too fast and got away with a handful of the goods. However, I managed to note down the license plate and made a police report soon after. They were caught a couple of days later.
Good job! Is there anything you dislike about your work?
I love the job very much but if there’s anything I really dislike is the nightshift, especially in industrial areas. It can be scary at times but I have no choice; I still have to do it. I remember on this particular night duty at Jurong or Tuas when I came face to face with the supernatural. I was doing my usual patrolling around the compound when I heard someone calling my name. The next thing I know, my head was thrown against a glass panel and I was bleeding profusely. I was admitted to the hospital and received a few stitches and I tendered my resignation the very next day. I’ve also seen weird things like flying white cloth and fireballs that appear and disappear during the night.